NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20100024476: Modeling Guidelines for Code Generation in the Railway Signaling Context
Publication date 2009-04-01
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), RAIL TRANSPORTATION, INDUSTRIAL SAFETY, SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, FUNCTIONAL DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS, PROCEDURES, LEADERSHIP, PROTECTION, Ferrari, Alessio, Bacherini, Stefano, Fantechi, Alessandro, Zingoni, Niccolo,
Modeling guidelines constitute one of the fundamental cornerstones for Model Based Development. Their relevance is essential when dealing with code generation in the safety-critical domain. This article presents the experience of a railway signaling systems manufacturer on this issue. Introduction of Model-Based Development (MBD) and code generation in the industrial safety-critical sector created a crucial paradigm shift in the development process of dependable systems. While traditional software development focuses on the code, with MBD practices the focus shifts to model abstractions. The change has fundamental implications for safety-critical systems, which still need to guarantee a high degree of confidence also at code level. Usage of the Simulink/Stateflow platform for modeling, which is a de facto standard in control software development, does not ensure by itself production of high-quality dependable code. This issue has been addressed by companies through the definition of modeling rules imposing restrictions on the usage of design tools components, in order to enable production of qualified code. The MAAB Control Algorithm Modeling Guidelines (MathWorks Automotive Advisory Board) is a well established set of publicly available rules for modeling with Simulink/Stateflow. This set of recommendations has been developed by a group of OEMs and suppliers of the automotive sector with the objective of enforcing and easing the usage of the MathWorks tools within the automotive industry. The guidelines have been published in 2001 and afterwords revisited in 2007 in order to integrate some additional rules developed by the Japanese division of MAAB . The scope of the current edition of the guidelines ranges from model maintainability and readability to code generation issues. The rules are conceived as a reference baseline and therefore they need to be tailored to comply with the characteristics of each industrial context. Customization of these recommendations has been performed for the automotive control systems domain in order to enforce code generation . The MAAB guidelines have been found profitable also in the aerospace/avionics sector  and they have been adopted by the MathWorks Aerospace Leadership Council (MALC). General Electric Transportation Systems (GETS) is a well known railway signaling systems manufacturer leading in Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems technology. Inside an effort of adopting formal methods within its own development process, GETS decided to introduce system modeling by means of the MathWorks tools , and in 2008 chose to move to code generation. This article reports the experience performed by GETS in developing its own modeling standard through customizing the MAAB rules for the railway signaling domain and shows the result of this experience with a successful product development story.
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